Buying the best yoga mat for bad knees can save your life. Especially if you're counting on yoga for fitness and stress release. It's properly-cushioned and supportive of all joints. But for the knees, it's especially soft and smooth.
There are plenty of reasons to fall in love with yoga. It engages both the mind and body. But if you have a sensitive knee or a childhood knee injury, you need to be extra careful. The last thing you need is your old injury to show up.
The only thing that will show a quick and effective result is a yoga mat. Really, you'll notice a significant difference in your knees overnight!
Choosing the Best Yoga Mat for Bad Knees
Yoga mats are made for many things. But not all of them are fit for yoga the way you want them to. So to find a yoga mat that's good for bad knees, here's what you have to look for.
If the yoga mat you're using now feels like paper, it's bad for your knees. Thickness is the first factor of consideration when looking at yoga mats. It's the first defense against bad knee injuries.
Premium thickness protects your knee from the hard surface of the floor. Look for yoga mats with a minimum thickness of about 5mm. Lots of people buy yoga mats with 3mm thickness but that's not enough. You need at least 5mm to protect your knees and other sensitive joints in the body.
If the yoga mat is not properly-cushioned, the thickness is a waste. Without cushioning, your knees will sink into the mat. Rather than feel cushioned and supported by it.
So what does proper cushioning look and feel like?
When your knees do not sink in the yoga. When it feels like your knees are supported and lifted on the mat. It should feel as if you're sitting on a bed rather than a comforter or blanket. That's the correct cushioning a yoga mat can provide for bad knees.
There's a fine line between that and really soft but clumsy cushioning. While yoga can be a stress-releasing and calming practice. It does include many inversions and balance postures. Standing balancing postures on a very soft surface can lead to injury and prolonged knee pain.
So make sure that the yoga mat is firm but cushioned. This also depends on the floor you'll be practicing the most.
There are many yoga mat materials to consider. You have the most common yoga mat material and that is PVC. But recent studies prove that PVC is not always the most supportive for sensitive joints.
Then you have more eco-friendly and conscious materials. Such as rubber, jute, natural cotton, and organic cotton, and bamboo. Eco-friendly materials are great because they are not manufactured and processed the way PVC is.
PVC contains harsh chemicals that might have a pungent odor. It wears out quickly over time. It's sticky so instead of gripping it causes your feet and hands to sweat and slide more often.
If you ask me, the best option out there for a yoga mat is eco-friendly latex-free rubber mats. They are made from tree rubber with no plasticizers, no PVC, and no latex. So it's hypoallergenic, kid-friendly, and bad knee-friendly.
Texture plays a huge part in yoga mats. Texture means the feel and stickiness of a yoga mat. This largely depends on the yoga mat's material. If it's rubber, the texture is smooth and grippy. If it's PVC, it's kind of slippery and bumpy which improves grip.
A bumpy texture on a yoga mat also enhances its cushioning. They have a soft feel with a textured roughness to them. This kind of roughness is not exactly the opposite of softness. It's uneven in a way that improves the way your feet and hands grip the mat.
Say in a downward dog - you can press your feet and hands firmly into the mat. The bumpy texture will prevent your hands from sliding forward. And your feet from sliding toward the back of the mat.
The option you choose depends on your personal preferences. It ranges from extremely flat and smooth to bumpy and slightly rough.
This brings to the next important factor of consideration.
5. Non-Slip, Sweat-Free
Anti-slip yoga mats can be hard to find. Especially if you have sweaty hands and feet. Non-slip yoga mats prevent you from sliding either forward or backward. So they do exactly as they sound, they stop you from slipping.
You need a yoga mat that during hot, sweaty sessions keep itself dry and comfortable. So even if you're sweating like crazy, the yoga mat doesn't too.
The benefits of using a non-slip yoga mat is a distraction-free and relaxed session. You will be able to hold each posture for longer. It also initiates better transitions. And intensifies your practical by focusing on important muscles. And it supports more advanced postures while reducing the chances of an injury.
Proper cushioning and grip will automatically improve your confidence. So never settle for a sticky and slippery yoga mat. It can increase your chances of an injury such as your knees, hip joints, and shoulders.
Looking for a dry, eco-friendly, and well-cushioned yoga mat is a must. It prevents bad knee injuries and other problems. Durability is also another important factor when it comes to yoga mats. So choose carefully and wisely.
It's only natural to buy according to price when looking at new yoga mats. But the price almost never dictates good quality. What does is what we're talking about in this article today. Proper cushioning, support, texture, and thickness. All these features make up the best yoga mat for bad knees.
And that's precisely what you need to look for too. If this is as important to you as it is to me, look out for yoga mats as thick as (or even thicker than) 5mm. A cushioned mat with a non-slip surface can improve your yoga practice and make you feel good.